Ayelet Cohen

Rabbi Ayelet S. Cohen Bio

Pearl Resnick Dean of The Rabbinical School and dean of the Division of Religious Leadership

Email: aycohen@jtsa.edu

Schools: Rabbinical School and Cantorial School

As Pearl Resnick Dean of The Rabbinical School and Dean of the Division of Religious Leadership at JTS, Rabbi Ayelet Cohen leads The Rabbinical School and H. L. Miller Cantorial School. In this role, she works to shape the next generation of Jewish clergy, cultivating students’ spiritual and intellectual lives so they can meet the challenges of Jewish life with wisdom, creativity, and resilience. Rabbi Cohen assumed this position in 2022, becoming the first woman to hold this role full time. 

Prior to joining JTS, Rabbi Cohen spent more than 20 years in positions of Jewish leadership. She is the author of  prayers and liturgy that are used by communities around the world and has mentored dozens of rabbinical and cantorial students. For more than a decade, she provided spiritual leadership at Congregation Beit Simchat Torah, the world’s largest LGBTQ synagogue serving Jews of all sexual orientations and gender identities. In her previous roles, Rabbi Cohen also served as the senior director of the New Israel Fund in New York, and the inaugural director of the Center for Jewish Living and the David H. Sonabend Center for Israel at the Marlene Meyerson Jewish Community Center in Manhattan. 

Rabbi Cohen earned her rabbinical ordination at JTS and her BA from Brown University. She is the author of Changing Lives, Making History: Congregation Beit Simchat Torah, the First Forty Years, and co-editor of Siddur B’chol L’vavcha. She serves on the board of T’ruah: The Rabbinic Call for Human Rights and Plaza Jewish Community Chapel.